Thursday August 9th, 2001
Turkey wants to build a Formula One circuit in Istanbul within three years, the head of the Turkish Automobile Federation said on Thursday.
"Formula One would bring economic advantages to Turkey," federation head Mumtaz Tahincioglu said on the website of Turkey's official government sports department.
"We will realise this project in Istanbul," he said, adding that the federation was working with sponsors from the private sector to raise the $60 million necessary to build a Grand Prix circuit.
Tahincioglu said the federation was in discussions about the project with Formula One's ruling body the International Automobile Federation (FIA), which would require a $10 million guarantee for the plan to go ahead.
"FIA looks on this project very warmly," he said. "But somehow Turkey has not taken this project to heart. My aim is to take on this project and overcome all obstacles."
Tahincioglu said a ban on tobacco advertising in Turkey should not be an obstacle since there are already similar bans in countries that currently host Formula One.
The FIA is keen to have a Grand Prix in the eastern Mediterranean or Middle East, with Cairo, Dubai and Beirut other possible venues.
Published at 15:53:12 GMT